Two-photon excitation of potentiometric probes enables optical recording of action potentials from mammalian nerve terminals in situ.

Jonathan AN Fisher, Jonathan R Barchi, Cristin G Welle, Gi-Ho Kim, Paul Kosterin, Ana Lia Obaid, Arjun G Yodh, Diego Contreras, Brian M Salzberg

We report the first optical recordings of action potentials, in single trials, from one or a few (∼1–2 μm) mammalian nerve terminals in an intact in vitro preparation, the mouse neurohypophysis. The measurements used two-photon excitation along the “blue” edge of the two-photon absorption spectrum of di-3-ANEPPDHQ (a fluorescent voltage-sensitive naphthyl styryl-pyridinium dye), and epifluorescence detection, a configuration that is critical for noninvasive recording of electrical activity from intact brains. Single-trial recordings of action potentials exhibited signal-to-noise ratios of ∼5:1 and fractional fluorescence changes of up to ∼10%. This method, by virtue of its optical sectioning capability, deep tissue penetration, and efficient epifluorescence detection, offers clear advantages over linear, as well as other nonlinear optical techniques used to monitor voltage changes in localized neuronal regions, and provides …

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Journal of neurophysiology